Conservatives keen on rewriting history for America’s schoolchildren have, in some corridors of the country, successfully downplayed Thomas Jefferson’s role in founding the country and diminished the role of slavery in the Civil War. Lately, they’ve sought to swap in intelligent design for evolution.
What happens when the revisionists succeed? There’s perhaps no more stark example than the damage done over a decade in then-Gov. George W. Bush’s Texas, where the state board of education took on proposed sex-ed textbooks and gutted them, bit by bit. In the video above, Laura Moser explains what happened when political debates seeped into real textbooks from Holt, Rinehart and Winston—and how those revisions have resonated throughout the state.